sâmbătă, 6 iulie 2013

Success 2013: Kurt Elling, American jazz vocalist, composer, lyricist and vocalese performer. He has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards, winning Best Vocal Jazz Album for Dedicated to You (2009)

Kurt Elling (born November 2, 1967) is an American jazz vocalist, composer, lyricist and vocalese performer. Born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Rockford, Elling first became interested in music through his father, who was Kapellmeister at a Lutheran church. Growing up, Elling sang in choirs and played various musical instruments, but was not exposed to jazz until he attended Gustavus Adolphus College. Elling enrolled in graduate school at the University of Chicago Divinity School, but left school one credit short of a master's degree to pursue a career as a jazz vocalist.
Elling began to perform around Chicago, scat singing and improvising his own lyrics. He recorded a demo in the early 1990s and was signed by Blue Note Records, releasing a total of six albums with the label. He has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards, winning Best Vocal Jazz Album for Dedicated to You (2009) on the Concord Jazz label. Elling often leads the Down Beat critics poll, and he was awarded the Prix Billie Holiday from the Académie du Jazz. Since 1995, Elling has collaborated with pianist, composer, and arranger Laurence Hobgood, leading a quartet that regularly tours the world.

While living in Chicago in 1995, Elling decided he was ready to record. He had met pianist Laurence Hobgood through Ed Petersen, who played the Green Mill on Monday nights. Elling convinced Hobgood that he was ready to go into the studio, and they came out with nine solid songs. Following the advice of pianist Fred Simon, the cassette recording was sent to Bill Traut, a manager in Los Angeles, who eventually gave it to Bruce Lundvall of Blue Note Records. 

Blue Note (1995–2005)

Two months later, Elling was signed to Blue Note, and the songs on the demo became the Grammy nominated label debut, Close your Eyes (1995). The album features Edward Petersen and Von Freeman on tenor saxophone, Dave Onderdonk on guitar, Laurence Hobgood on piano, Eric Hochberg and Rob Amster on acoustic bass, and Paul Wertico on drums.
Close Your Eyes was followed several years later by The Messenger (1997), with Elling releasing a total of six albums for the Blue Note label.
In 1999, Elling became a National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and in 2003, he was elected Vice Chair and served two terms. 

Concord (2006–present)

In 2006, Elling performed on the television program Legends of Jazz, in the episode "The Jazz Singers". Elling sang "She's Funny That Way" and performed a duet with Al Jarreau on "Take Five". The recording was released on CD and DVD. In August of the same year, Elling signed a new record contract with Concord Jazz, and his first album with the label, Nightmoves, was released in 2007.
The follow-up, Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman (2009), is a tribute to the 1963 recording John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, widely recognized as one of the all-time finest jazz vocal albums. The album arose out of a 2005 concert commissioned by the Chicago Jazz Festival, showcasing the Coltrane-Hartman material. Later, Elling and pianist Laurence Hobgood rearranged the music, culminating in a performance in the Allen Room at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. The concert was recorded in January 2009 and the album was released in June.
Elling is a baritone with a four-octave range, and a writer and performer of vocalese, the art of writing and performing words over improvised jazz solos. In 2007 and 2012, Circumstantial Productions published two editions of Lyrics: Kurt Elling, collections of Elling's vocalese lyrics, edited by Richard Connolly. 

Collaborators

Elling has performed and recorded with David Amram, Bob Belden, Joanne Brackeen, Oscar Brown, Jr., Billy Corgan, Orbert Davis, George Freeman, Buddy Guy, Jon Hendricks, Charlie Hunter, Randy Bachman, Bob Mintzer, Rex Richardson, and Bob Sheppard.
As of 2012, Elling's band included musical director Laurence Hobgood on piano, John McLean on guitar, Clark Sommers on bass, and drummer Kendrick Scott.

vineri, 5 iulie 2013

Success 2013: Richard Bona, jazz bassist and musician. He currently holds a professorship of music at New York University

Richard Bona (born October 28, 1967 in Minta, Cameroon) is a jazz bassist and musician. His actual African name, as he said live in Montreal in a show with Bobby McFerrin, is Bona Pinder Yayumayalolo.

Bona was born into a family of musicians, which enabled him to start learning music from a young age. His grandfather was a griot-- a West African singer of praise and storyteller-- and percussionist, and his mother was a singer. At 4 years old, Bona started to play the balafon. At the age of 5, he began performing at his village church. Not being wealthy, Bona made many of his own instruments: including flutes and guitars (with cords strung over an old motorcycle tank).
His talent was quickly noticed, and he was often invited to perform at festivals and ceremonies. Bona began learning to play the guitar at age 11, and in 1980 aged just 13, he assembled his first ensemble for a French jazz club in Douala. The owner befriended him and helped him discover jazz music, in particular that of Jaco Pastorius, which inspired Bona to switch his focus to the electric bass.

 Bona emigrated to Germany at the age of 22 to study music in Düsseldorf, soon relocating to France, where he furthered his studies in music.
Whilst in France, he regularly played in various jazz clubs, sometimes with players such as Manu Dibango, Salif Keita, Jacques Higelin and Didier Lockwood.
In 1995, Richard left France and established himself in New York, where he still lives and works. In New York he played bass guitar with artists like Joe Zawinul, Larry Coryell, Michael and Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, George Benson, Branford Marsalis, Chaka Khan, Bobby McFerrin, and Steve Gadd.
In 1998, Richard was the Musical Director on Harry Belafonte's European Tour.
His first solo album, Scenes from My Life, was released in 1999. He has also been prominently featured in Jaco Pastorius Big Band albums, as well as many other albums by various top-tier jazz musicians.
In 2002 Bona went on a world tour with the Pat Metheny Group as a percussionist/vocalist.
In 2005 Bona released his fourth album Tiki, which included a collaboration with John Legend on one track, entitled "Please Don't Stop."
He currently holds a professorship of music at New York University.

Discography

Richard Bona, 3 August 2006